Walkie-Talkie was developed first during the second world war for the soldiers. It is a handheld wireless radio communication device through which two parties can talk to each other. One notable feature of a walkie-talkie is the push button that must be pressed if you want to talk on the wireless radio and it must be released if you want to hear the other party. In order to let the other party know that you it is their turn of talking, you have to say “over” and at the end of conversation “out”. You can find more about the wireless radio talk jargon on http://www.dyerlabs.com/communications/procedural_codes.html.
Even though you can buy some of the cheap wireless radio transceivers easily from RadioShack, they are all limited by the working distance. Most of them cannot work beyond a few miles radius. Instead of buying them, you can convert your smartphone into a walkie-talkie using the free app Zello.
Zello is a unique walkie-talkie app that uses the internet to communicate with other Zello users through a familiar push-to-talk interface. This app works on all kinds of smartphones – Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and Blackberry. You have to login using your Zello account and then you can test the setup using a special user called “Echo” or add/invite friends.
The user interface imitates the walkie-talkie in the sense that you have to tap on the big circle in order to speak. You can change the volume level using the sound options in the interface. You can even change your status that indicates whether you are busy or available for conversation. And the push-to-talk button can be customized from the app settings.
For all the conversations, it records the audio of both the parties and saves them for later listening. You can also join some of the channels where more than one people are communicating with each other. You have to be invited or allowed for talking in such channels, but you can usually listen to everyone.
Conclusion: Zello can make conversing with friends more fun through its PTT (push-to-talk) interface. It gives the illusion of using a walkie-talkie without any of the limitations of the actual wireless transceivers.
You can get the Zello walkie-talkie app from https://zello.com/app.